Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston (born 11 March 1963) is an English actress who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Active from the early 1980s, Kingston became noted for her television work in both Britain and the US in the 1990s, including her portrayal of the title role in the British miniseries The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (1996) and her regular role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in the NBC medical drama ER (1997–2004).
Kingston in 2017
Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston
11 March 1963
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Relatives||Walter Renneisen (maternal uncle)|
Later credits include the recurring role of River Song in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (2008–2015), Mrs. Bennet in the ITV1 period-drama fantasy Lost in Austen (2008) and Dinah Lance in The CW's superhero fiction drama series Arrow (2013–2016).
Kingston was born and brought up in Epsom, Surrey, to Anthony Kingston, an English butcher and his German wife, Margarethe (née Renneisen). Kingston's paternal great-great-grandmother was Jewish, an ancestry Kingston explored on the series Who Do You Think You Are? Kingston's uncle, her mother's younger brother, is actor Walter Renneisen. Her younger sisters are Susie, who is mentally and physically disabled as a result of being deprived of oxygen at birth, and Nicola, a former actress who appeared in the 1996 British TV production of The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, in which Kingston starred.
Kingston was inspired to pursue acting by one of her teachers at Rosebery School for Girls. Kingston auditioned and performed in the Surrey County Youth Theatre production of Tom Jones as Mrs Fitzpatrick, alongside Sean Pertwee as Captain Fitzpatrick and Thwackum played by Tom Davison. She later completed a three-year programme at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Kingston has appeared in a number of British-produced television dramas, including Grange Hill, Crocodile Shoes, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, The Knock and various guest roles on The Bill.
Kingston's film credits include The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), A Pin for the Butterfly (1994), The Infiltrator (1995), Croupier (1998), Essex Boys (2000), Boudica (Warrior Queen in the USA) (2003) in which she played the eponymous Boudica, Sweet Land (2005) and Crashing (2007).
In September 1997, Kingston gained North American television fame after being cast on the long-running medical drama ER. Her first appearance was in the premiere of the fourth season, the award-winning live episode "Ambush", as British surgeon Elizabeth Corday. Kingston played this role for just over seven seasons, leaving in October 2004 with the season 11 episode, "Fear", after her contract was not renewed. Kingston, who was 41 at the time, criticized the move as ageism, stating that "apparently, I, according to the producers and the writers, am part of the old fogies who are no longer interesting."
In November 2005, Kingston guest-starred in the long-running mystery drama Without a Trace in the season 4 episode, "Viuda Negra". The episode was directed by Kingston's former ER castmate Paul McCrane. She played Lucy Costin, a wealthy vacationer from the U.S. whose husband is kidnapped by a Mexican street gang during their honeymoon.
In 2006, Kingston starred as Nurse Ratched opposite Christian Slater as Randle Patrick McMurphy in the Garrick Theatre's West End production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Kingston revealed that she auditioned for role of Lynette Scavo on ABC's Desperate Housewives but was turned away for being too curvy. In a 2006 interview, she admitted to considering and nearly attempting suicide after her separation from her husband Ralph Fiennes.
In 2008, Kingston guest-starred in the fourth series of the long-running science fiction television programme Doctor Who in the two-part story "Silence in the Library" / "Forest of the Dead" as River Song. She reprised the role in fifteen episodes in between 2008 and 2015. Kingston says she thought her role was simply a one-off but was delighted that she would be a returning character. Kingston returned as the character in the 2015 Christmas special "The Husbands of River Song". It was her first appearance alongside Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor. She has replayed the role in a series of audio-plays from Big Finish Productions beginning in 2015. The character has since made an appearance in other Doctor Who based properties produced by the company.
In September 2008, Kingston took the part of Mrs. Bennet in ITV's acclaimed four-part production Lost in Austen, which is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In October that same year, Kingston appeared in the police procedural drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in the season 9 episode "Art Imitates Life" as Patricia Alwick, a psychiatrist and grief counsellor who helps the team cope with the recent death of CSI member Warrick Brown.
In February 2009, Kingston portrayed Miranda Pond, a defence attorney in two episodes of the legal drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This guest spot reunited Kingston with her former castmate from ER, Mariska Hargitay. In June, Kingston starred as the lead character Ellie Lagden, one of four former convicts in the BBC One drama series Hope Springs until its cancellation in July. In September that year, she had a recurring role in FlashForward, playing Inspector Fiona Banks.
In 2011, Kingston was a cast member on British supernatural series Marchlands, portraying Helen Maynard. She also guest-starred in the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice as Marla Tompkins, a psychiatrist who writes book reviews for newspapers. Kingston appeared in Friedrich Schiller's Luise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
In early 2013, Kingston appeared in Arrow, playing Professor Dinah Lance, the mother of Laurel and Sara Lance.
In July 2013 Kingston played Lady Macbeth opposite Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth at Manchester International Festival. Her performance was broadcast to cinemas on 20 July as part of National Theatre Live. She reprised the performance with Branagh at the Park Avenue Armory in June 2014. It was her New York stage debut.
In September 2014, Kingston starred as Ruth Hattersley, an analyst working for the Missing Persons Bureau on the ITV mini-series drama Chasing Shadows.
Kingston met English actor Ralph Fiennes while they were both students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. They were together for ten years before marrying in 1993. In 1995, Fiennes began an affair with his Hamlet co-star Francesca Annis and left Kingston the following year; they were divorced in 1997.
At the end of 1998, Kingston married German writer and freelance journalist Florian Haertel, having met him the previous year on a blind date arranged by friends; they have a daughter together, Salome Violetta Haertel, born 28 March 2001. Kingston and Haertel separated in 2009. On 30 October 2009, Haertel sued Kingston for dissolution of the marriage, and divorce was finalized in 2013. Kingston married television producer Jonathan Stamp in 2015.
Kingston appeared on the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in September 2012, investigating the lives of her great-grandfather Will Keevil and her four-times great-grandmother, Elizabeth Braham.
|1980||The Wildcats of St. Trinian's||Schoolgirl||Uncredited|
|1989||The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover||Adele|
|1994||A Pin for the Butterfly||Mrs. Solomon|
|1996||Saint-Ex||Chic Party Guest|
|1998||Croupier||Jani de Villiers|
|1999||This Space Between Us||Peternelle|
|2000||Essex Boys||Lisa Locke|
|2006||Alpha Dog||Tiffany Hartunian|
|2009||Sordid Things||Eve Manchester|
|Ghost Phone: Phone Calls from the Dead||Sheila|
|2013||Bukowski||Katharina Bukowski||Not released yet|
|National Theatre Live: Macbeth||Lady Macbeth|
|1980||Grange Hill||Jill Harcourt||3 episodes|
|1987||A Killing on the Exchange||Ellen||Miniseries|
|1988–1995||The Bill||Dr. Howard / Lisa / Maggie Fisher||4 episodes|
|1989||Hannay||Kirsten Larssen||Episode: "The Terrors of the Earth"|
|The Play on One||Daniella||Episode: "These Foolish Things"|
|1992||Covington Cross||Helen||Episode: "Cedric Hits the Road"|
|1993||Foreign Affairs||Actress||TV film|
|Soldier Soldier||Ursula Kröhling||Episode: "Camouflage"|
|1994||Woman of the Wolf||Woman (voice)||TV film|
|Crocodile Shoes||Caroline Carrison||5 episodes|
|1995||The Infiltrator||Anna||TV film|
|1996||The Knock||Katherine Roberts||13 episodes|
|The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders||Moll Flanders||TV serial|
|1997||Weapons of Mass Distraction||Verity Graham||TV film|
|1997–2004, 2009||ER||Dr. Elizabeth Corday||160 episodes|
also known as Warrior Queen
|2005||The Poseidon Adventure||Suzanne Harrison||TV film|
|Without a Trace||Lucy Costin||Episode: "Viuda Negra"|
|2008||Freezing||Serena Wilson||Episode #1.3|
|Lost in Austen||Mrs. Bennett||Miniseries|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Patricia Alwick||Episode: "Art Imitates Life"|
|2008–2015||Doctor Who||River Song||15 episodes|
|2009||Hope Springs||Ellie Lagden||8 episodes|
|2009–2010||FlashForward||Fiona Banks||3 episodes|
|2009–2010||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Miranda Pond||4 episodes|
|2011||Private Practice||Dr. Marla Thomkins||2 episodes|
|2012||Upstairs Downstairs||Dr. Blanche Mottershead||5 episodes|
|Who Do You Think You Are?||Herself||Episode: "Alex Kingston"|
|NCIS||Miranda Pennebaker||Episode: "Gone"|
|2013–2016||Arrow||Dinah Lance||7 episodes|
|2014||Chasing Shadows||Ruth Hattersley||Miniseries|
|2015||American Odyssey||Jennifer Wachtel||2 episodes|
|2016||Blue Bloods||Commander Sloane Thompson||Episode: "Friends in Need"|
|Transformers: Rescue Bots||Quickshadow (voice)||5 episodes|
|Shoot the Messenger||Mary Foster||8 episodes|
|Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life||Naomi Shropshire||Miniseries|
|Crushed||Cricket Stella||Unaired Hulu pilot|
|2017||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Vlurgen (voice)||Episode: "Mr. Rippen"|
|2018–present||A Discovery of Witches||Sarah Bishop||7 episodes|
|2019||The Widow||Judith Gray||8 episodes|
|2012||Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock||River Song|
Awards and nominations
|1997||British Academy Television Awards||Best Actress||The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders||Nominated|
|1998||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||ER||Won|
|2008||Doctor Who Magazine Awards||Best Guest Actress||Doctor Who||Won|
|2009||TV Land Awards||Icon Award||ER||Won|
|2010||Doctor Who Magazine Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Doctor Who||Won|
|2012||SFX Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|2013||Anglophenia's Fan Favorites Women's Tournament||Woman of the Year||Herself||Won|
|2016||Saturn Awards||Best Guest Performance in a Television Series||Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song||Nominated|
- Lundy, Darryl. "Person Page 18418". thePeerage.com. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- Lee, Veronica (9 March 2006). "'I wouldn't say I was strong...'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Alex Kingston: Who Do You Think You Are?". Who Do You Think You Are?. BBC One. 19 September 2012. Event occurs at 29:53. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- Dysch, Marcus (20 September 2012). "Alex Kingston discovers her Jewish Background". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
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- "(article in German)" (in German). Echo-online.de. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
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- ""One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" returns with Christian Slater at Garrick from 21 March 2006". 15 February 2006.
- Heather (23 May 2006). "Alex Kingston slams skinniness of the Desperate Housewives". Fametastic. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
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- "The Diary of River Song". Big Finish. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (4 February 2011). "Private Practice Exclusive: Shrink Role Fits ER Alum Alex Kingston". TVLine.com. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Hibberd, James (22 January 2013). "'Arrow' scoop: 'ER' actress is Laurel's mom". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston "MACBETH"". Manchester International Festival. 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Mcdermon, Daniel (20 August 2013). "Branagh's 'Macbeth' Coming to New York's Park Avenue Armory in 2014". The New York Times.
- "Chasing Shadows on DVD - A Chat With Alex Kingston". The Huffington Post UK.
- Sheldon, Michael (14 August 2003). "'I'm not afraid to take risks'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Freeman, Hilary (22 June 2004). "At my age, if we want to have another child, this is the time to do it". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "Salome Violetta Haertel". Variety. 5 June 2001. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Curtis, Nick (1 June 2011). "Doctor Who is the closest thing to theatre on TV". thisislondon. Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "FLORIAN HAERTEL VS ALEXANDRA KINGSTON". UniCourt. 20 December 2018. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- "Alex Kingston". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Interview). Interviewed by Craig Ferguson. Los Angeles: CBS. 6 January 2011.
- "Reece Shearsmith, Alex Kingston and Noel Clarke to star in Chasing Shadows". ITV Presscentre. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "American Odyssey". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- "Colm Feore, Alex Kingston & Jacob Vargas Join Hulu Pilot 'Crushed'". Deadline Hollywood. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2018.